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Xar replaced the use of gzipped pax files. This file format is used by Apple Inc. The XAR project aims to provide an easily extensible archive format. Important design decisions include an easily extensible XML table of contents for random access to archived files, storing the toc at the beginning of the archive to allow for efficient handling of streamed archives, the ability to handle files of arbitrarily large sizes, the ability to choose independent encodings for individual files in the archive, the ability to store checksums for individual files in both compressed and uncompressed form, and the ability to query the table of content's rich meta-data.
The header is a small binary data structure that identifies the file format file magic. The table of contents is parsed as an XML document. The heap occupies the remainder of the file. Files' data are stored in the heap.
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Files in xar are individually compressed. This allows for quick extraction of individual files without the extra disk space requirements and CPU usage of extracting the entire archive, as compared to a compressed tar archive.
For that reason, we highly recommend trying the 7-Zip solution we outlined in the previous section and resorting to DMG Extractor only if 7-Zip cannot open a particular file. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more.
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